Our day trip Portoverne may have been one of our most favorite parts of our vacation. We took the water taxi from Vernazza at 10am (because apparently that’s the earliest option….)
Excited to get on the ferry!
Vernazza before 10am…turns out nothing opens until 8am, not even coffee shops
stopping in Manarola and Riomaggore before arriving in Portoverne before 11am.
The rugged landscape, along the Cinque Terre coastline, looked windswept with the old volcanic flows of basalt dotted with cactus. However as we got closer to Portoverne there were more interesting fortifications!
The Castle in Portoverne
We sat on the bow and had the best view of each harbor including the prominent castle above Portoverne.
In Portoverne, we proritized walking the castle grounds
Above Castello Doria
before going on a quick three island ferry at noon to see more of the surrounding area of Portoverne. We loved the red lighthouse high on Palmeria,
Lighthouse on Palmeria
and the World War II bunkers.
After the boat trip, we wanted to find a non-touristy place for lunch in Portoverne and we totally lucked out by ducking into a restaurant, called Osteria Baracco, off of the beaten path.
We were a little intimidated since it seemed like no one spoke English so we ordered vino bianco, insalata greca and the first pizza on the menu!
We guessed that muscoli was mussels but otherwise had no idea what we ordered!
Mussels and eggplant make for an amazing combination on pizza!
We had an amazing pizza and ingredients that we’d never thought to combine together!
After lunch, we noticed young people swimming near the castle and thought why not?
Swimming below Castle Doria in Portoverne
It was a wonderful temperature and way to see the castle from a different perspective. There was a protected cove that we swam in so we had no issues with currents!
We took the water taxi back to Cinque Terre, stopping in Riomaggore for an hour. We saw a bride posing for pictures around town and we went swimming!
Riomaggore (pronounced rio-major-ey)
Swimming in Riomaggore
Once we got back to Vernazza we were tired but tried to get a table at Ristorante Belaforte on a friend’s recommendation but there was a huge line and they weren’t taking reservations. Again, we lucked out because we walked up to the other end of town, and had a unobstructed view of the sunset for dinner.
The service was bad but we had fun anyway! The stuffed mussels and sparkling rose were perfect with the sunset!
The phenomenal view from Bar la Torre
Mussels stuffed with ricotta and garlic!
After sunset from Bar la Torre
There were no lights on the path back to town, so we carefully picked our way down the rocky steps using the light on my camera (which was very dim) but we fortunately made it down without any twisted ankles or any other issues.
I can’t wait to tell you all about Monterusso and Lucca next!